OCTOBER 26, 2011
In a case of public assistance gone mad, a United States congresswoman has introduced legislation to give “needy families” free diapers and diapering supplies for their babies in the name of economic development.
The measure (Diaper Investment and Aid to Promote Economic Recovery Act) is necessary because, without an adequate supply of diapers, a child cannot attend day care and therefore “working mothers have a harder time getting work and can fall even further behind.” This is how the veteran congresswoman from Connecticut, Democrat Rosa DeLauro, justifies her brilliant bill. DeLauro is a ranking member of the House Labor, Health, Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, which oversees the government’s investments in those areas.
Combined with more than two decades in the U.S. House, that means DeLauro is influential and can probably gather lots of support for her measure. Before getting elected to represent Connecticut’s Third District, which stretches from the Long Island Sound and New Haven to the Naugatuck Valley and Waterbury, DeLauro was the chief of staff to Christopher Dodd, the famously corrupt U.S. Senator embroiled in the Countrywide Financial scandal.
Providing free taxpayer-funded diapers will also avoid a health crisis, according to DeLauro. She asserts that infrequent diaper changes can lead to diaper rash, increased risk of urinary tract and skin infections, and can even cause outbreaks of viral meningitis, dysentery, and Hepatitis A. Her bill will help relieve some of the stress on families facing hardship in this economy by allowing diapers to be provided as a direct service, she says.
“No family should have to choose between buying diapers for their child or buying groceries—but that is exactly what is happening today,” said DeLauro who considers her successful campaign to stop U.S. military aid to Nicaraguan Contras in the 1980s among her biggest accomplishments. “Diapers are expensive, but necessary to keep children healthy in daycare, giving their parents the freedom they need to work.”
To demonstrate support for the proposed law, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy has declared a “Diaper Needs Awareness Day” this week. Diaper “activists and advocates” will gather in New Haven for an important panel discussion on diapers as a public health and pressing social issue, according to a local news report. Various state lawmakers and an esteemed Ivy League psychology professor will participate in the diaper discussion.
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